Halloween continued to be a boom time for the confectionery market in 2011 as shoppers showed no signs of being spooked by the economic problems. Total confectionery sales - including non-Halloween confectionery - grew by 4.5% year-on-year in the eight weeks around Halloween.

Consumers spent, on average, £7 more compared with the eight weeks prior. Growth was driven by more shoppers shopping more often and buying more products. Shoppers spent an average of £2.75 per trip during the 2011 Halloween period, and 27,000 more shoppers bought into Halloween-related products than during the 2010 season.

Value sales of chocolate confectionery were up a massive 70% on the eight weeks prior to the Halloween period. Chocolate sharing packs and chocolate multipacks experienced particularly healthy growth - not all that surprising, given the continuing popularity of trick or treating.

Although times are challenging, Halloween remains important for retailers. Impulse traders did particularly well, outperforming the market average for year-on-year spend growth.

Shoppers managed budgets by purchasing a higher proportion of own-label products than in previous years. Branded confectionery, however, continued to dominate sales at a ratio of almost 9:1 versus own label, but in 2011 own label’s rate of growth overtook that of the brands.

Younger shoppers contributed a larger share of spend in 2011 than they did in 2010.

Despite the recession, there was less money spent on deals than in 2010. Among those who did buy into deals, price reductions proved particularly popular.

Fright club: Adults join in the Halloween fun